Craft Saturday – Deku Baba Cross Stitch

Today’s craft is a Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Deku Baba Cross Stitch created by Sirithre. Sirithre is a Twitch Partner who streams video games and cross stitch. Luckily for us, she has an Etsy Shop where you can purchase her patterns. The Deku Baba she designed is part of an ever-growing set of patterns she created based on video game flora. Sirithre wrote, “I was trying to capture the traditional kitchen herb cross stitch patterns you see all over the place, but with a nerdy twist.”

Deku Baba Cross Stitch

 

This will be a slightly more complex piece for your little makers as this beautiful Deku Baba has 22 colors of floss. That might seem like a large number, but don’t be daunted! The whole piece is approximately 4×4, which places the project in the easy category size-wise. The only tricky part to this stitch is starting and docking all those colors. It might be time to introduce your cross stitcher to The Loop.

The Loop is a fantastic way to start new thread in a cross stitch that is tight with lots of colors. New cross stitchers should never be worried about how messy the backs of their projects are. But as your makers get more practice, they will likely start trying to make the backside more orderly. The Loop start is the cleanest way to anchor your thread. Use this graphic from the Cross Stitch Guild to learn how it’s done.

In all, this project will cost you around $15 for the pattern, floss, and fabric. If you want to use the stretched Aida square canvas that Sirithre used for the Deku Baba, you can find it in a 3-pack at Michael’s. For anyone unable to purchase them at Michael’s, Amazon sells another brand. They are more expensive, but they come in two sizes.

I hope you guys enjoy this Deku Baba cross stitch as much as I do. It’s on my short list of things to stitch this year. Be sure to check out Sirithre on Twitch, Twitter, and Instagram, and poke around her Etsy shop while you’re there. If you’re looking for another cross stitch project, try this Sheikah Eye. Have a great Craft Saturday, Everyone!

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Reclaiming My Desk

Recently, while cleaning the house, I had a realization. The realization that I would never have a space for myself in this house if I never put myself first. It was this realization which led me to work on reclaiming my desk.

I have, until recently, been writing this blog while sitting on my couch. It’s quite a picture to imagine someone sitting balancing a computer in their lap while snuggled in fleece blankets. Though, for full disclosure, I started blogging on an iPad. So the image was less balancing an object in my lap while I tappy -tapped on a keyboard and more trying to write an article with my thumbs. You might ask why I was doing that when in all likelihood there was a flat surface somewhere in the house I could put my computer on. You’re not wrong, of course. Once I acquired a computer, and graduated from writing my blog with my thumbs to all ten fingers, I sussed out that this wobbling while typing thing was not going to work. Computer, welcome to the dining table.

Yup, you read that right. The dining table. Because apparently I liked carting my computer to the table each morning and then carting it back to some other flat surface each night before the family ate. But why? Why was I going to all these lengths when there are a pair of desks side by side against the wall, one with enough The Legend of Zelda items near it to clearly belong to me. That’s because my desk, in all it’s structural glory, was a mess.

 

How did it get this way

Moms have a tendency to put themselves last. It’s what we do. It’s one of the ways we show love for our kiddos. In moderation, this is fine. The trick is to not put yourself last all the time. Balance in everything is key.

So the year turned to a new one and I find myself with kids who are a little older, who can take care of themselves on their own better, who can manage their emotions, their thoughts, their actions a bit more than before, and I find myself with time. Time to breathe, to think, to relax, and to reclaim some of the pieces of me that I put aside while the kids were tiny little balls of energy and need.

And I looked at my spaces in the house, and saw how I had put them last. Last to clean, last to tidy, last to be mine. I looked at my desk, piled high with materials from the kids projects. A space that should have been mine to create and write, instead covered with remnants of things I cleaned off of other surfaces. Things that had no home or I was too exhausted to sort correctly; the piles of “I’ll get to it later” that I never got to.

And I realized, it was time. Time to reclaim my desk.

 

The Process

Have a look at what I started with. Some where under the pile of stuff that didn’t belong anywhere near my desk, was, in fact, my desk.

I got in there and pulled out all the stuff that was not mine and put it elsewhere. Let all that Lack stuff clutter up the living room for a bit instead of finding a home at my desk. Rice for draft dodgers welcome to the floor of the pantry. I pulled everything off my desk and if it didn’t have someplace else to go I put it on my dinning table. Nothing was going to go back on my desk unless it was meant for that desk.

The desk. I told you it existed.

What what? I have a desk top that is clean  with my pens in containers and my computer is actually on my desk. What is going on.

But it didn’t stop there. Momentum is like a small trickle that suddenly pushes you off a waterfall.

I have things on my wall. What alternate universe have we fallen into. I hate putting things on the wall. Scratch that I hate committing to putting things on my walls because I worry that I won’t like it and will have to move it and ugh what a pain. But that’s something I’m also working to overcome this year. So those posters that have been hiding on that top shelf collecting dust instead of being oogled got put up.

That pile of stuff on the desk had to be gone through. I love my Legend of Zelda collectables, but there is something to be said about minimalism. Large scale, statement pieces, lots of visual satisfaction, these are all good. Having to dust lot of little pieces doesn’t work for me. Either all those things need to be used or they needed to go. Some got used, some got reserved for another space and some got let go.

 

The Final Result

Greenie's Clean Desk

And there she is. My desk – nice, neat, functional, and pretty. In reclaiming my desk, I reclaimed a piece of myself that was not lost, but put aside while I had no energy to give it. With the kids a bit older, I can make room for myself in the house again. If I continue to put my places last on the cleaning list, I will never have the energy to clean them. By the time I clean up one space that the family uses, another space will be begging for my attention. So I put this space first. It stays neat and is an anchor in the house for me. A place that I can return to to craft or write. And I can still be all snuggled, cozy in a fleece blanket while I do it.

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Craft Saturday – 8-Bit Heart Card

Here’s a cute idea for those of you who would like to have your child make their Valentines cards: an 8-bit heart card. There are a few versions of this card, but the original tutorial comes from Kate at minieco.co.uk.

 

Cute, right? And not difficult, which means this would make a great project for a crafty afternoon. All you will need for this project is a printer for the PDF file included in the tutorial, some card stock, a cutting tool, and a cutting mat and ruler. If you’re worried about your kids slicing up their fingers with an X-ACTO style cutting knife, try using a ceramic crafting tool like this one. They are finger friendly.

This whole project will cost under $10 for the card stock. The cutting mat, ruler, and tool will add another $15-20, but are highly reusable. Especially if you have a kid who loves papercrafting.

Other Variations of the 8-Bit Heart Card

As stated above there are other tutorials and PDF files of this card that have been made, based on the above tutorial. The first one comes from the maker of the original card. Kate made a second version of her heart card, which you can find here.

 

Here’s one featuring an 8-bit heart and a quote from the first The Legend of Zelda game. This version comes to us from Fungus Amungus at instructables.com. The tutorial is located here.

8-Bit Heart Valentine

 

Lastly, if you are looking for something that is more obvious that it is from The Legend of Zelda, try this one from quidprosno at deviantart.com. You can find the file for it here.

 

I hope you enjoy this craft of an 8-bit heart card for Valentines Day. Be sure to check our Mom’s the Gamer’s Video Game Crafts board on Pinterest for more ideas and more LoZ hearts. Happy crafting, everyone!

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3DS Skins

We  got the kids some 3DS skins for Christmas and just recently (finally) put them on their devices. They look so good and were so easy to put on. If you’re not familiar with skins, they are like stickers, really good vinyl stickers, that can customize your kids devices with their favorite characters. We got Fire Emblem for the Youngest and Monster Hunter for the Eldest.

Take a look at the Fire Emblem set.

Fire Emblem Skin for New 3DS XLFire Emblem Skin Backside New 3DS XLFire Emblem Skin Inside New 3DS XL

 

It looks amazing, doesn’t it? The Youngest is over the moon about it.

We got them for the kids just for the fun of having their 3DS decorated with their favorite games, but you could use this as a method for identifying devices. The New 3DS XL originally just came in red and black. The boys each picked a different color to forgo any confusion about which 3DS belonged to which kid. But you could grab two black ones and slap a Pokémon skin and a Legend of Zelda skin on them and instantly tell the owners apart.

The skins are available for just about every console, controller, and 3DS. Just be sure to get the correct skin type, then peel, place, and hit it with a blow dryer to make it stick and you have your customized device. Correct type, people. I mommy-brained the type for the Eldest, so now we have a new one coming in the mail.

 

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Dad’s Not the Gamer – Nioh

A little over a week ago, I bought a game for the husband. For those of you following along, or those who can guess by this website’s name, you already know that in this house, Dad’s not the Gamer. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t play video games, just that he doesn’t have the same level of want-to-play-all-the-games the rest of us have. But we like playing games, and we like spending time with him, so when the Hubs does want to play a game, it’s like the stars aligned so we do everything we can to make that happen.

NiohAfter Christmas, we began to hear rumblings of this kind of event occurring. He mentioned that Nioh looked interesting. Nioh happens to be rated M so I knew that it would be a game he would play likely after the kids had gone to bed. The kids are old enough now, though, that as long as there is no moral ambiguity or adult themes, they can watch a mature Hack-n-Slash. Not play, mind you. We still have that rule about no people killing, but if the artwork doesn’t bother them, watching is fine. And Nioh is exactly the kind of game that B2 would want to watch. Lots of swords, lots of fighting, some vague history of weaponry and war strategy.

After New Years the rumblings got louder. He stated that he would actually like to play Nioh. It looks good. It’s by Team NINJA. It got good scores. But when would he play the game? It’s M for Mature. Probably isn’t going to work. It was at that point that I took matters into my own hands and bought him the game.

A few nights later, after the kids are in bed, he pops the game in. Cool cut scenes, nice art, oh here we go! He’s in a prison cell, in the Tower of London. He gets out, fights a guard barehanded, and dies. Completely adorable. Try number two: finds a chest with a sword! Now he’s in business. Where’s that guard? There he is. The Hubs defeats him easily. And off he goes. It’s pretty much you would expect from a hack-n-slash. Dark corridors, candle lit rooms, random chests, guards to defeat and then *cue angelic music* he finds an Axe. The Hubs is an axe man. He’s a very happy guy now. More rooms and guards and then ooo he found a big guy. Big guy down, cue cut scene transformation and we have our first Boss.

What happened next was twenty minutes of die, respawn, run to the Boss, trigger the boss, die. He gave it a damn good honest try. Stuck with it much longer than I expected him to. But it was late at night and it was enough. He stopped the game. But the good news is he likes Nioh, thinks he’ll play again, it looks to be ok for the kids to watch, and (best part) he has his axe.

Fast forward a few days. While I was upstairs reading, and B1 was at Scouts, B2 convinces the Hubs to play Nioh so he could watch him and hang out with him one-on-one. When I come downstairs, B2 excitedly tells me he got to watch Dad play Nioh.

“Did you like it?”

“It was awesome! Dad has an axe.”

“Yes he does. Did he get past that boss?”

“Yeah, I looked it up for him.”

Dead. I’m done. The kiddo-bean looked up the strategy for his dad to be able to defeat the boss. Then explained it for him and coached him through beating the boss. Parent’s usually do this for their kids. My kid did it for his dad.

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Series of Quotes #4

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Craft Saturday – Nintendo Labo

In a small deviation from our usual Craft Saturday posts, today let’s focus on the Nintendo Labo. If you haven’t seen the trailer, here you go:

 

Seriously amazing, right? For any of you who have an engineer, a maker, a crafter, a builder, an artist, a tinkerer, a musician, a kid with a wild imagination – you likely got the same goosebumps I did thinking of all the ways our kids will love this. The reason this works, is because Nintendo is taking what our kids already do, and marrying it with technology so they can see their creations come to life.

Both of my kids want Labo. Both of my kids have been thinking of peripherals and sets they would like to see and make. The amount of time the kids have already spent coming up with ideas for what kinds of things they want to play with and how they would incorporate the Joy-Cons to make them function with the Switch has already made the Labo worth it. The Youngest is hoping to be able to make a sword and shield with Labo. As I sit here typing those words, he’s thought up three more ideas. And decided to get out his sketch book and draw everything up. This is what we want: Technology that activates our kids to think and create.

 

What’s Available Right Now

So far there are two sets available for preorder: the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit. The Variety Kit has six Toy-Cons: 2 Remote control cars, a Fishing Rod, a Motorbike, a House, and a 13 Key Piano. The Robot kit will gear your kid up with a robot suit.

 

 

Nintendo also has a customization kit coming out that will include stencils, stickers, and tape. Plus there are several Toy-Cons we can see in the trailer that do not have a set yet. Looks like we can expect a Drum Kit, a Flight Simulator, a Camera, a Race Car, a Bird, and possibly a Bow and Arrow, Guitar, and Conductor’s Baton. Nintendo’s product description states that you can invent your own Toy-Con, though the parameters for that are currently unknown. But maybe that means that there can be sword Toy-Cons in the Youngest’s future.

Now the nitty-gritty for the parents. The Toy-Cons are made of cardboard. Nintendo is aware that cardboard can break from use, get stepped on, and so forth. They are going to have replacement part kits and also offer the template designs online for free. Which is good news for those kids who want to make it all from scratch. So go ahead and start hoarding that cardboard from Ikea, Amazon, and maybe even cereal boxes. For anyone who can’t stand the scratch of cardboard I highly recommend Washi Tape. It masks the sound perfectly. Plus it comes in loads of colors and designs to suit your kid’s individual style.

As all of the experienced makers out there get their hands on Labo, we can expect to see some high quality materials used to make the cardboard parts. Really looking forward to that part. The Eldest is old enough to follow some of the tutorials that will come out for materials like foam, PVC, and 3D printed parts.

Nintendo Labo comes out on April 20th. I fully expect these to fly off the shelf, so if you can preorder, go ahead and do so. And I hope to see all of your kid’s wild and colorful creations!

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Craft Saturday – Stardew Valley Snowman Rarecrow Perler

If it’s too cold outside or there’s not enough snow for your kids to build a snowman, they can build one inside with today’s craft of the Stardew Valley Snowman Rarecrow perler.

Stardew Valley Snowman Rarecrow Perler

This little guy is a great easy project for a cold winter’s day. The only thing that you will need to help your child with is the ironing to finish the perler. You can put a magnet on the back to stick the snowman to your fridge or use a Command Strip to hang it on your child’s wall.

If you have perler beads in the house already, you can make this snowman rarecrow without needing to get new supplies. These sets of Fun Color and Neutral Color perler trays have all the colors used here.

You might notice that the light blue is a bit off from the original computer pixel colors. This version of the rarecrow uses Perler colors available in stores. The pale blue color used here is the light aquamarine color named “toothpaste”. I caution you against trying to use the “pastel blue” color that Perler offers. It’s very close to the light blue color and won’t show the contrast needed to make your snowman.

If you have a budding artist in your family, you might want to look into Artkal beads. The s-5mm beads come in more than 130 colors. Not only will you be able to find a color closer to the light blue used in Stardew Valley, but you can also tweak the greys in the top hat to be more like the original, too.

Want to make a perler of another rarecrow? Here’s the link to the Turniphead Rarecrow perler. Enjoy crafting your Stardew Valley Snowman Rarecrow. And join us again next week for another Craft Saturday.

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Friday Funnies – The Great Jagras

So Majestic.

From Twitter.

The Majestic Great Jagras

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Craft Saturday – Pokémon Coloring Pages

It’s the last Saturday of 2017, so let’s have an easy and meditative project for today: Pokémon coloring pages from Winding Paths Art. Have a look at a few of our favorites. Each picture is a link to the page on windingpathsart.com where you can print the design.

Articuno Pokémon coloring pages

Bayleef Pokémon coloring pages

Suicune Pokémon coloring pages

Gardevoir Pokémon coloring pages

LeafeonPokémon coloring pages

Solgaleo Pokémon coloring pages

Dragonair Pokémon coloring pages

Winding Paths Art has quite a lot of different Pokémon coloring ages. If your kid wants to color a specific Pokémon, they probably have it available.

This is a very simple project, good for the cold, wintry days this time of year. All that is required is a printer and black ink. For those who are in need of colored pencils (or are ready to upgrade from Crayola pencils which can be hard to sharpen), here are a couple of links to the Prismacolor pencils we like. For school use, the 24 Count Pencil set works great, but if you have an artist in the family you might want to have the range of colors available in something like 72 Count Pencil set.

If you’re looking for other coloring projects, try these RiME coloring pages. Also, check out Mom’s the Gamer’s Pinterest Video Game Crafts board for more pages. Enjoy the last weekend of 2017 and as always Happy Crafting!

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